Digging into HP ServiceCenter

Back in January I was assigned to a team responsible for operations and improvements to a large scale HP ServiceCenter 6 installation. My role is as a developer/architect.


I had no prior experience of HP ServiceCenter as a developer, but I did have quite a bit of experience as and enduser. In this post I'll write down some of my first impressions. Later, if time permits, I'll write up on what I found when I looked behind the shell.


My first toughts were to get my hands on the software and some documentation showing an overview. Both proved hard, as HP seems to keep any documentation except for their PR speak about HP ServiceCenter a closely guarded secret. After quite a bit of information gathering on the internet, I came across a book on HP ServiceCenter described as beeing to the ServiceCenter developer equal to water in the desert to the beduins. How appropiate it would turn out to be.


The product consists of the following components

  • Storage. Either their properitaty P4 database, or a modern RDBMS accessed trough a P4 emulation layer, either Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle. The P4 database has been removed (altough it's legacy is still very much present) in later versions
  • Server. Native process, which make use of a JVM to do certain things. All functionality is executed here.
  • Client. Either an eclipse based desktop client, or a J2EE application. They both utilize the same UI elements. A form designed for the desktop should be able to run on the web and vise versa.
  • Integration Software. Either CDAuto, a csv based tool or Connec-It, a general integration tool mostly just used together with HP ServiceCenter accordint to what I'm told.

HP ServiceCenter 6 is exposing two sets of webservices. One set which exposes the tables in ServiceCenter directly, and one which is utilized by the desktop and web client.

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